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Rolls-Royce has today confirmed the development of a new, ‘open top touring’ model, set to reach a luxury mansion near you in mid-2016.

Rolls is being particularly tight-lipped over the new drop-top - sorry, drophead - but CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös promises us this new model will be an “exciting and thoroughly contemporary interpretation of a pinnacle drophead tourer which will introduce even more discerning men and women to Rolls-Royce ownership”.

The upcoming drophead - likely to be based upon the Wraith coupe, which is itself based on the Ghost saloon - will join the Phantom Drophead Coupe in the Rolls-Royce line-up, and is currently undergoing prototype testing ahead of its next development stage.

The Wraith Drophead - though it might not use that name - would likely employ the same 624bhp 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 as its coupe cousin. We’d also expect it to clock in more expensive than the hard-top, which means an asking price north of £250,000.

This announcement comes just a few months after Rolls-Royce chiefs admitted to that an SUV is under ‘serious analysis’. Rolls chairman Peter Schwarzenbauer told TG earlier this year that “there are long-term independent studies that say half the world car market - 50 per cent of everything - will be crossovers and SUVs.”

“So it’s our responsibility to look into it,” he added.

However, Schwarzenbauer did admit that a Rolls SUV hadn’t been signed off - which today’s announcement echoes. “We have to know if it [the SUV] would still be a true Rolls-Royce. If we’re not convinced it is, then I will not ask the board for permission to go forward with it,” he told us in March.

It’d be a pretty safe bet to assume that an R-R SUV is on the cards, but likely won’t land until after the introduction of the Wraith cabrio. That means Rolls will be beaten to the luxo-SUV market by Bentley’s as-yet-anonymous SUV, which lands next year.

We’ll see this new convertible in the middle of 2016, a convertible that Schwarzenbauer reckons will “play a key part in fulfilling Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ commitment to long-term sustainable growth.”

Stay tuned.

Get ready for the Rolls-Royce SUV

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